tv The Ed Show MSNBC December 20, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
a secret hope of getting to five mill million. but we thought this would be a tough year to do that. but we made it and thanks to you and others and i understand since you wre that letter you pulled in more. >> yeah, we now have enough to buy 80 desks. >> that is fantastic. >> what school are you at here? >> i go to wildwood. >> do you have friends there who are interested in helping out you too? >> probably. let's get some help from good evening, americans, and
welcome to "the ed show" from new york. this is the situation at this hour. the house is in recess. subject to the call of the chair. that's not stopping him from wasting america's time. >> these are gyrations i've never seen before. >> tonight, congressman chris van hollen on the republicans in chaos. congressman elijah cummings and john garamendi on where the dems go next. plus, abc's jake tapper took it to the president on gun control. >> where have you been? >> today the republican leadership was forced to respond. former vermont governor howard dean on the republican disappearing act on guns. and a preview of tomorrow's nra news conference. and righties have their bogus war on christmas. >> santa, if you will, i understand you don't like to say happy holidays.
why? >> tonight, i'll tell you about the real war on christmas and the people who stand to suffer for it. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. tonight washington republicans are wasting our time. republicans are supposed to vote on john boehner's infamous plan b at this hour. the house is in recess as republican leaders basically are scrambling to get all the votes. house speaker john boehner pushed for a vote on the bill even though it has no chance of surviving in the senate. it would be vetoed by the president if it did. boehner's plan b. it makes tax increases permanent for income above $1 million. compared to the white house plan, basically, folks, it's a joke. president obama proposed a $2.5 trillion package. $1.2 trillion would come from spending cuts. $1.3 trillion would come from tax increases. plan b only includes $1 trillion
in tax revenue and the rest of course is unspecified. it also includes no deal on raising the debt ceiling. president obama's latest offer takes the debt ceiling off the table for the next two years, which i think most americans want. boehner flat out lied to the american people today when he announced tonight's vote. >> president obama and senate democrats haven't done much of anything. their plan b is just slow-walk us over the fiscal cliff. and for weeks the white house said that if i moved on rate that they would make substantial concessions on spending cuts and entitlement reforms. i did my part. they've done nothing. >> it is the height of dishonesty to say the president of the united states has done nothing. the president's opening offer, just for the record, was $1.6 trillion in new revenue. then he dropped it to $1.4 trillion. after another counteroffer the president dropped it again down to 1.2 trillion. this is exactly halfway between the president's first offer and speaker boehner's first offer of $800 billion.
on top of this the president changed his offer on taxes for incomes above $250,000, which of course was his signature vow of the presidential campaign. he replaced p with what? a tax increase over $400,000. even a better break for middle classers and beyond. plus a cost of living adjustment to social security benefits, which has got a lot of people on the left all riled up. the president's supporters not real thrilled about this deal. but boehner continues to lie about it. >> frankly, i'm convinced that the president is unwilling to stand up to his own party. on the big issues that face our country. >> it is the other way around, folks. speaker boehner got a good deal from the president, and he couldn't sell it to his own members. boehner had to go crawling to some random person for help in selling plan b to the republican caucus.
boehner and republican house leader eric cantor, well, they met with anti-tax lobbyists and chief driver of the truck grover norquist. norquist gave his blessing to plan b, saying it would not violate his anti-tax pledge. republicans have already passed a second part of the plan. it replaces the automatic defense spending cuts, which kick in at the end of the year. instead of defense cuts, the republican plan cuts funding for what? food stamps? can't get enough of those poor folks serving it up, you know what i mean? and of course they've got to go after health care. it eliminates the child tax credit and ends unemployment benefits for millions of americans. eric cantor is confident the entire plan b will pass. >> do you think you have the votes to pass plan b, among republicans? >> yes, we're going to have the votes to pass both with tax, permanent tax relief bill as well as the spending reduction. >> really? if cantor and boehner had the votes this afternoon, why did they wait for tonight to hold
the vote? or wait a minute. they haven't had the vote yet. they're still counting heads. the republican house leader spent the day trying to round up the votes. many republicans are still not on board. congressman tim hustlecamp says he's a no. >> the trillion-dollar tax hike, even in washington speak still is a tax hike. it's going to raise rates to exactly what nancy pelosi suggested in may. >> these obscure congressional members are giving speaker boehner all kinds of trouble. congresswoman marsha blackburn is also leaning toward a no vote. >> you know, i have to tell you, i'm in that lean no category because i'm one of those people that wants to see the spending cuts, and that's what my constituents are wanting to see. >> conservative representatives don't want to go back to their districts with a vote for a tax increase on their records. that would kind of screw up their next campaign, you know? and of course they want to be more right than grover norquist. senate majority leader harry reid doesn't understand why boehner is wasting his time with
a vote that doesn't matter. >> get back and start talking to the president. you have a multitrillion-dollar deal they've been talking about. multitrillion-dollar deal. they're a couple hundred billion dollars apart. this is absolutely senseless, that the speaker's doing what he's doing. these are gyrations i've never seen before. >> of course harry reid's from vegas. he knows all about gyrations. senator dick durbin says today's actions by republicans remind him of something else. >> remember the closing scene in "thelma & louise"? rather than face the reality of what lies ahead, they hit the gas. that's what we're hearing from speaker boehner now. hit the gas. and go over the cliff. >> the entire republican party is in this car right now, and they are flying off the side of the cliff. that can't be good. that was a commercial, too, wasn't it? a guy in the back of a truck.
white house spokesman jay carney had a different movie in mind today. republicans need a superhero to save them from this mess they're in. >> the republicans in the house have decided to run down an alley that has no exit. what i'm confident of is that they don't have at the end of that alley a bat plane to fly out to their own rescue. do you remember that scene? it was good. a good scene. >> does the president have a batplane? >> i can't talk about that. it's classified. >> joining me now is congressman chris van hollen of maryland. former dccc chairman. and i think he might be, knowing that this is a very serious time in american history, but there are moments of comedy coming out of the republican caucus tonight. congressman, there is breaking news from the hill right now. there will be no vote on plan b. the speaker has pulled his own bill. here is the statement his office has just released. "the house did not take up the tax measure today because it did
not have sufficient support from our members to pass. now it is up to the president to work with senator reid on legislation and avert the fiscal cliff. the house has already passed legislation to stop all of the january 1st tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation's crippling debt. the senate must now act." congressman, your reaction. what happened with john boehner today? >> i was going to say, ed, from the beginning of your introduction to just a few minutes ago we got the announcement that they were folding up shop for tonight and maybe longer because speaker boehner, having walked away from negotiations with the president and cooking up this plan b, which was never going to go anywhere in the senate, now is not going anywhere in the house because he can't even persuade his own members to pursue this option.
the speaker should get back in the negotiations with the president. the president has met him more than halfway. and now it's time for speaker boehner to either let the house vote on the proposal the president has put forward or give up the game. at this point if he can't persuade his own members to go for plan b, it's time for him to let the american people speak. they've been very clear that they support the approach the president's taken. >> congressman, you stay with us. chris van hollen, we're waiting to hear from majority leader eric cantor. and we're going to go to him in just a moment. congressman van hollen, how embarrassing is this for boehner? he's in quicksand right now. >> yeah, it's very embarrassing for the speaker, and it demonstrates what many of us said all along, which is that he unfortunately cannot control his own republican caucus. the republican caucus in the house of representatives has
become a very extreme group. way out of the american mainstream. captured by tea party extremists so that even john boehner, the speaker, their leader, can't get them to support his proposal. and i should say, ed, his proposal would still give people earning over a million dollars a year a $50,000 tax break compared to the senate democratic tax bill. in other words, they get a $50,000 break at least compared to what happened if they went over the cliff or if we got the senate bill. and at the same time they were actually proposing to increase taxes on 25 million american families by taking away some of the tax deductions for middle-income americans to send their kids to college and things like that. so it was a bad plan. but he couldn't even sell his bad plan to very extreme members of his own caucus. >> this moment i think is a hangover from 2010. these tea partiers have come in here, and they have bent the right wing -- they have bent the republican caucus so far to the right, i mean, they put cuts on
the table that no one was even talking about tonight. they won't even raise taxes on people making above $1 million. i mean, what does that tell you how far -- it doesn't matter what president obama puts on the table. this wing of their party will not accept anything, it seems like, to get us to where we have to go. so congressman, does this officially make it a republican problem for us going over the cliff? >> oh, there's no doubt about it. even if they had passed plan b, as harry r50ed and others said, this was going to be a fast trip over the cliff. >> what should the democrats do now, congressman? what's the next play here? >> well, we need to call on the speaker to bring up the plan that's been proposed by the president. it's a balanced plan, as you well know. there are lots of things in that plan that i don't like and lots of democrats don't look. i still have reservations about them. we'd have to fix parts of it. but at the very least let's
bring up that plan, put it to a vote. that's true democracy. if the speaker really wants to allow the process to work, let's have a true democracy, a true majority vote in the house of representatives, and then we could pass a true balanced plan, the kind of compromise plan that the president has put forward. >> you said earlier today on msnbc that you think that boehner is stringing this out because he's concerned about his position as speaker of the house. has he lost control of his caucus tonight? >> well, clearly he has. and it reinforces the point that i did make earlier today, which is a concern i'm sure he has that if he were to allow the house to have an up or down vote, let's allow a majority in this house to work its will on a proposal that's put forth by the president after certain negotiations, preliminary negotiations with the speaker, that there's a very real risk that he would lose his speakership. i suspected all along he may be dragging this out. january 3rd, which is when he is up for his election in the house for speaker.
and i would hope he would put the country over the politics of the republican house caucus. because what we are seeing tonight is they are a really extreme group. they're willing to drive the country off the cliff. and it's really a sad day for the country and the overall process. >> so if you just joined us, breaking news tonight. the speaker of the house does not have enough votes. they have canceled the vote on plan b. chris van hollen joining us here on "the ed show." congressman, when you look at what the president did, he put social security on the table. this is of course what the republicans have wanted all along. they have wanted to go after the big three. and they didn't even go after that offer. change cpi. they didn't even go down that road. what does that tell you about republicans? i mean, we've seen all this obstruction over in the senate. we've seen obstruction and the failure to bring up bills on jobs that the president wants in
the house. and now tonight they couldn't even get their own caucus together. we've had 34 months of private sector job growth. the country's running without republicans right now. fair statement? >> it's running without republicans. but the problem is that we need republicans to help us avoid going over the fiscal cliff, which would be a huge increase on middle-income americans, which would definitely hurt the economy. >> have you ever seen anything like this? >> so what they're doing, they're holding the entire country hostage as we speak. we've got 11 days to go before we go over the cliff. and as one of your earlier guests said, they're just putting their foot on the accelerator. the cut bill that they brought up today, ed, was a reflection of priorities because while they still are trying to put a tax bill on the floor that provides a $50,000 average tax break to people making over a million dollars compared to the senate bill, they called today for cuts that would cut 300,000 kids from
the school nutrition programs and reduce nutrition and food programs for 22 million americans with families. i reminded my colleague, paul ryan, the chairman of the budget committee, of the comment that his running mate made during the election about the 47%, when mitt romney said, you know, the 47% of america was not mitt romney's problem. and what they did today in the house in terms of their cut bill was to make good on mitt romney's promise, that they don't care about that 47%. >> quickly, i have to ask you this. eric cantor could not deliver the right wing tonight for john boehner or did he purposely not do it? >> oh, i don't know what's going on in the republican caucus. as far as i could tell, eric cantor was working with the speaker to try to round up the votes. and frankly, it's a reflection on the inability of the entire house leadership to congress the far right of their party to prevent us from going over the cliff that brings us to the point where we are right now.
>> congressman chris van hollen, great to have you with us. thank you so much. we are awaiting a statement from majority leader eric cantor and i would assume we might hear something within the hour from the white house. share your thoughts with us on twitter and on facebook. we want to know what you think. democratic leader nancy pelosi calls john boehner's bill the bills to nowhere. boy, was she right. boehner didn't have the votes. what will the democratic strategy be now? congressman elijah cummings and john garamendi will be with us. we're coming right back. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags,
a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd
coming up next on "the ed show," i'll ask congressman elijah cummings and john garamendi how the democrats proceed after tonight's disaster for republicans. plus, all the political fallout with steve bennan and michael tamaski. and we'll hear from eric cantor next np share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using the hash tag edshow. we're coming right back.
welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for joining us tonight. speaker john boehner didn't have the votes for his own plan b this evening. boehner was desperately trying to save face with his caucus after rejecting an offer by president obama he should have taken. here's what eric cantor had to say just moments ago leaving. >> is there going to be a vote tonight? >> no. >> no vote tonight? >> no. >> will there be a vote tomorrow? >> no. >> are you ditching plan b? will there be a vote today? >> no. >> let's bring in congressman elijah cummings of maryland and also congressman john garamendi of california. gentlemen, breaking news tonight. very interesting. congressman cummings, did you think it was going to come to this?
did you think john boehner was not going to be able to get the votes and be able to hold the vote in the house tonight? >> i have a feeling he probably wouldn't be able to do so because this plan is one that's inconsistent with the republican philosophy. keep in mind, they don't want to tax the wealthier people one dime. and so that's why this failed. let me tell you, one of the things that speaker boehner ought to be concerned about right now is that as a result of not being able to get these votes he's now emboldened the tea party and basically the tea party is controlling the republican party. and that's so sad because they are now pushing us over this cliff. the president's been very reasonable. but again, the tea party has again ruled, unfortunately. >> congressman garamendi, where does john boehner go from here? >> i don't know where he would go. but i know where we have to go. we've got to find a compromise. we've got to get this done. we cannot let america hang out
because of the chaos in the republican caucus. it's just really a tragedy if we don't get this together. we're more than willing to compromise. the president's gone way, way down the road toward compromise. obviously, the republicans are unable to even get their act together let alone reach a compromise. >> how are you going to reach a compromise with these people? with their position. on what was on the table. congressman cummings -- >> it's going to be very difficult. but i hope that speaker boehner will go back to his caucus and remind them that we just came through an election and that the people have spoken and they've spoken very clearly. and i've got to tell you, ed, i'm beginning to feel that much of the republican caucus must be out of touch with the american people. they act like an election never happened. we've got to move on, though. there's so many people at christmas time who are suffering. and just think. this is now -- we spent several
days, and speaker boehner spent several days creating this distraction. that's what it's been. when we could have had this resolved and we could have moved on. but yet they've got us -- they literally are pushing us over 24 cliff when the president has been extremely reasonable. >> john garamendi, do you think the president should come out with another offer, or is this it? are we going over the cliff? >> well, the president has put a very good offer on the table. he's got probably 180 clear votes. there were 21 republicans that did not go with what i would call the ryan budget plan, which was devastating to the 47% that was discussed earlier. so all we need is those 21 republicans to come on board and we could put this together. so it's really a question i think of whether speaker boehner's willing to do what's right by america or to hang on as best he can to his speakership. >> this is the latest from majority leader captor's office. the house has concluded legislative business for the week. members are advised that the house will return for
legislative business after the christmas holiday when needed. congressman cummings, if you had to put a percentage on whether we're going over the cliff right now after tonight's events unfolding, that they couldn't round up the votes, what would you put it at? >> i think it's going to be very difficult to avoid it. but i'm hoping they will come to their senses over this christmas holiday, and i hope that they'll work with the president. i know the president has extended his hand. and i'm sure he's willing to work through the christmas holiday to get it done because he realizes how important it is. and i'm hoping that they will put the country before their party. >> john, it would seem to me the tea party has had enough of john boehner. and they didn't give him the votes tonight because they don't think he's conservative enough. and so this was a tipping point and this was their chance to make a statement and they'll go home and say that they stood by their principles and didn't
raise taxes. what about that? >> well, that's obviously what they did. but the larger question is what is going to happen to america. what's going to go -- >> they don't care. they don't seem to care, do they? >> well, that's not the entire republican caucus. there's a large percentage of the republican caucus that is rational on this issue even though they may not be exactly where we are in the democratic caucus. these votes can be put together. speaker boehner, would you really be serious about what's good for america? we can put the president's plan on the table, on the floor tomorrow, and it would pass with republican votes if speaker boehner is willing to put his speakership at risk. >> you think it would pass? you think the president's plan would pass if boehner were to bring it up? >> i think it has a very good chance of passing. it's a compromise all the way through. and it has the balance of cuts and taxes. it's a good plan. there are things in it that i don't like. as i said on your show earlier,
i'm willing to compromise and do what's good for america. >> and congressman cummings, is it an intriguing question to know just how hard eric cantor may have worked for votes tonight? >> oh, yeah. it is. i'm not sure how hard he worked. but the fact is the tea party, ed.story that comes out of this is the tea party can go back and say they controlled the process. and i've got to tell you, ed, it is very, very painful when i think about all the people who will suffer as a result of the republican party being in disarray and not wanting to tax the richer of the rich one dime more. it's just a sad occasion. >> it is. congressman elijah cummings and john garamendi, great to have you with us tonight, gentlemen. thank you so much. coming up, steve benen of the maddow blog and michael tomasky of the daily beast are here with their reaction. what's the next play? then president obama was asked where has he been on guns? tonight we're asked where have the republicans been? where have they gone? we've got disturbing answers
but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers
for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com.
welcome back to "the ed show." john boehner's failure to get support for his plan b is probably the worst possible outcome for the republicans in these fiscal cliff negotiations. let's bring in msnbc political contributor steve benen of the maddow blog and also michael tomasky, special correspondent for "newsweek" and the daily
beast. well, gentlemen, we've had a lot unfold here over the last half hour. john boehner may be one of the weakest speakers of the house ever. he could not get votes tonight to put behind the plan that he put forward, which tells me he must not know his caucus very well, or he certainly has underestimated the revolt that's taken place over on the right wing. steve, what do you make of what unfolded tonight? how damaging is this to the whole process? >> well, it's certainly a fiasco for the speaker. we're reminded right now that he's a leader without followers. and a leader without followers is pretty much useless. he's going to have to pick up the pieces very quickly, going back to the president, trying to find out some kind of plan c. also keep in mind there's two weeks left until his re-election as speaker. i no longer think that's a sure thing. i think this is such a fiasco that his future as speaker is very much in doubt. >> michael, your thoughts. what happened to boehner tonight? >> just what steve said.
i also doubt his future as speakership pretty seriously. but look, ed, the main thing here, let's not lose focus. the main thing is what the republican harty has just done to the country. these people aren't legislators. they're vandals. this is really outrageous. barack obama moved and moved and moved, you chronicled his steps very well at the top of the show, the changes he made in his approach, the steps he took to go meet boehner halfway, at least halfway. his balance of tax revenues and spending cuts. boehner also, to his mild credit, at the end of last week, boehner also moved a little bit. but then after he moved obviously his caucus came to him and said no, buddy, no way, we're not going to sit for this. and then he tried this gambit, this plan b gambit. and they said no even to that. they're not legislating. they don't care about the country. they don't care about what happens to the economy. they care only about naked political power and being
primaried from their right in their congressional districts. those are the only two things they care about. >> steve, what about grover norquist? he gave them cover. told them to go ahead and vote on this from the standpoint of it's not going to violate his anti-tax pledge. what does this say about his influence or lack of on the tea party? >> you know, yesterday john boehner was kind of pleading with his various caucus members, going around explaining to them all the various conservatives that were on board with this plan. grover norquist among them. i think we're learning that grover norquist's power on capitol hill has dwindled to almost nothing. there are others such as freedomworks that initially said they were on board, then they changed their mind, as did the heritage foundation. i think as the day unfolded the opposition from the right became so overwhelming that what grover norquist was saying or not saying became ultimately irrelevant.
and i think in the future you'll see him isolated and alienated even more. >> here is majority leader eric cantor right after the decision was made that was going to be no vote tonight. here it is. >> is there going to be a vote today? >> no. >> no vote today? >> no. >> will there be a vote tomorrow? >> no. >> are you ditching plan b? >> are there be a vote today? >> no. >> michael tomasky, the leader of the house, majority leader, speechless. what do you make of that? >> it was interesting. the question you asked cummings and garamendi in the previous segment, how hard eric cantor really worked for this. i pictured him maybe as being like mitt romney's pollster. the guy who told romney don't worry, you've got new hampshire in the bag and all that stuff. cantor may be feeding boehner bad numbers because cantor of course has his eye on the speaker's chair. and as steve mentioned, that
vote is going to happen on january 3rd. and that vote is now very much up in the air. so they put up a united front publicly for the purposes of this vote. but i have a feeling there were a lot of machinations going on behind the scenes. >> all right. steve benen and michael tomasky, great to have you with us tonight. we are going to be joined by steny hoyer when we come back, who is the whip in the house for the democrats. and he said earlier today he hasn't seen anything like this in his 30-plus years in the congress. what does he make of this situation? that's next. stay with us. smoothes, lifts, defies?
red jars are all the same right? wrong! you need three uses of a $15 cream to equal the moisturizing power of one use of regenerist microsculpting cream. seems not all red jars are created equal. olay regenerist. welcome back to "the ed show." house speaker john boehner has failed to get enough support to bring his plan b bill up for a vote. majority leader eric cantor said legislative business is done for the week and sent the house members home for christmas. for more i'm joined tonight by congressman steny hoyer of maryland. steny, great to have you with us tonight. i don't know how you do a deal with a dysfunctional bunch. but eric cantor said earlier today that they had the votes, then they didn't hold the vote. where are we at this hour? >> ed, what i think today shows
very, very clearly, that in fact president obama has been willing to compromise, willing to make a balanced deal possible from his perspective. and i think john boehner wanted to get there. but what john boehner has shown tonight is that his caucus does not want to make a balanced agreement, to make sure that working americans don't get a tax increase, to make sure that we deal with the doctors' reimbursement for medicare, make sure the sequester doesn't happen. his crowd has too many theocratic members who are interested only in their own ideology and not in the welfare of the country. i think it's a sad day for our country. i'm glad that this went down to defeat because now hopefully wem come to grips with the fact the only way this is going to work, not on a partisan basis but on a bipartisan coming together, i am hopeful that john boehner and eric cantor will join with the
president, leader pelosi, and myself and harry reid and mitch mcconnell to come to a balanced agreement that we then in a bipartisan fashion can pass because it's obvious that the republicans will not pass anything. they won't touch revenues at all, as is self-evident by this vote -- by this failure to be able to act even on their own speaker's proposal, not on a compromise but on their own proposal. it is dramatic evidence that the president was right and frankly speaker boehner was wrong. it's not us who won't come to the table to pass a balanced deal. it is the republican conference in the house of representatives. >> steny, is this also a message that it's going to be awful tough to get around the tea party? >> well, you know, i still believe that john boehner and eric cantor have the ability, i think they would, and if they
can't, well, i think there's a question as to their leadership ability. but i would certainly think they can get 125 or 150 or 160 members of their caucus to join a like number in our caucus to pass a balanced constructed deal at that time president of the united states will support and that will put america on a fiscally sustainable path. >> does this mean we're going over the cliff? >> well, the president doesn't want to go over the cliff. as you'll recall in the third debate, he said we weren't going to go over the cliff. none of us want to go over the cliff. that's not good for our economy. it's not good for our people. and we need to work to avoid that. i am hopeful that in the next five days, six days between now and next wednesday, when i presume we're going to be coming back, i am hopeful that the president i know is willing to
work. the speaker and others will work to try to get to an agreement that can in fact be adopted by the house of representatives, passed by the united states senate, and signed by the president of the united states. that will require what we haven't seen in this republican majority, the willingness to compromise and be reasonable and make sure the math works. >> but congressman, how much farther can the democrats go? aren't the democrats bound by the success of the obama team in the election and the number of seats that were picked up by the house and the number of seats in the pickup in the senate and two seats by the democrats? aren't you bound by the election results not to give in anymore? the president has reduced the price a couple of times. he also put social security on the table, which was something i think you said wasn't going to happen. so how much more can the democrats give? >> ed, i don't think there's much more to give. i think the president, you're correct, has come a long way
toward trying reach a balanced bipartisan agreement with speaker boehner. the problem speaker boehner has, as is self-evident from the debacle that occurred tonight where the republican conference is deeply divided, the problem that the speaker has in reaching a balanced deal is his caucus won't support it. the president's caucus i think would support him if it's a reasonable deal, which the president thinks is good for the country. we need to get a deal. we need to keep that uppermost in mind. and we're not taking the position as the republicans have taken my way or the highway. we understand in a democratic process the electorate has spoken, that they left the republican leadership in charge of the house of representatives. we picked up seats. we frankly got more votes nationally than the republicans did in the house of representatives. but we didn't win back the majority. so there needs to be compromise. the country needs us to come to an agreement. but what the republicans have to
understand is clearly they can't get a large number of their party. i believe that speaker boehner and majority leader cantor can get a majority of their party. maybe it will be a small majority of their party. and if they come to a reasonable agreement with the president of the united states, i think we can pass such an agreement. i think it would be good for the country, good for the economy. >> the question now is can john boehner put the country ahead of his speakership? >> i certainly think he can. i hope he will. and as i say, in talk to the speaker, he has told me, and i believe him, he wants to get a big deal. he unfortunately, as somebody, i think, one of your speakers in the previous segment said, you can't be a leader if there aren't followers. and frankly, the republican party is having a hard time following -- finding followers who want to be reasonable, who understand that democracy is about compromise, and our economy and our country are more important than our parties. >> well, there's a lot to think about over the holidays. that's for sure.
you gentlemen are going to be back to work next week. we'll see what happens. although the hourglass tonight just got turned in a big way. congressman steny hoyer, great to have you with us tonight, sir. >> thanks, ed. appreciate it. howard dean joins me on the epic failure by house speaker john boehner. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. well, if it isn't mr. margin. mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know.
nbc news reports that house speaker john boehner made an impassioned plea tonight asking for his members to vote for his plan b fiscal cliff deal. congressman mike kelly of pennsylvania reportedly stood in front of the room and screamed at his colleagues for not supporting the speaker, but speaker boehner could not get the votes. more on this story when we come back on "the ed show." smart , a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety.
military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help.
welcome back to "the ed show." eventful last hour. no doubt about it. you're looking at tape of house republicans leaving a conference meeting earlier this evening, within the last hour. speaker john boehner didn't have the votes for his own plan b this evening. republican house leader eric cantor sent his members home tonight after leadership failed to pass a bill. keep in mind, both boehner and cantor spent all day saying that they had the votes. boehner introduced plan b to save face with his caucus after rejecting an offer by president obama.
he should have taken the president's deal. in a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll it shows that 24% of americans will blame republicans if we go over the fiscal cliff, compared to 19% for the democrats. 58 -- 56% will blame both parties. 38% trust president obama to handle the fiscal cliff. only 19% trust john boehner. and in the wake of tonight's developments i would imagine those numbers would get a little worse for the speaker of the house. joining me tonight, former governor howard dean of vermont and cnbc political analyst. mr. dean, good to have you with us, governor. >> thanks, ed. >> give us in short order your commentary without question, what do you think has happened here this evening? >> well, the inside baseball of this is really a problem for the speaker. you can't -- this is something you can't do. you can't have your budget overridden, as governors know, and you can't have a major initiative like this go down when you think you have the
votes and you don't. it would not entirely surprise me to see eric cantor or kevin mccarthy, who've been waiting in the wings, kind of gently stack the speaker in the back for a couple years, to make their move after the new session starts. the fiscal cliff, as you know, i believe the country would be better off if we went over the fiscal cliff. we would get enough revenues to be serious about balancing the budget. we'd get some defense cuts, which congress will never vote for otherwise. we will get some human services cuts, which i don't like, but you know, we're in a deep hole here and everybody's going to have to put something in the pot. the truth is the belief that millionaires or people who make more than $250,000, if you tax them more that's going to solve the deficit problem, that's just not so. so i think it would be better for the country if we go over the fiscal cliff. and i'm not sorry this has failed. but i do not think this has helped john boehner's speakership.
>> the tea party protected the wealthiest americans tonight. there's no doubt about that. but did we see vulture politics in action tonight? do you think eric cantor worked hard for votes? >> i don't know. that's the most interesting thing. as i said, cantor -- throughout john boehner's speakership and cantor's majority leadership, cantor's been really trying to wrest the power of the caucus away from john boehner. in the last few weeks it's been all lovey-dovey between them. i don't know. i think cantor's going to have a hard time restraining his ambition because this is a very bad blow to the speaker. if you can't deliver your caucus and you publicly fall on your face like that, it makes everybody in your party look bad. the tea party people know that. this is a problem for john boehner. >> well, they're going home tonight without a deal. they'll come back after christmas. what's the next best play for the president, do you think, governor? >> i think the president -- unlike me, the president really does want a deal. i'd like to make a bigger down payment. i think we're not going to raise the revenue or cut the defense to the degree we need to without
the fiscal cliff. this was a bipartisan deal made between democrats and republicans a year and a half ago and i think we ought to keep it because it would be better for the country. but i think the president does want to compromise and he'll try again to compromise. the problem now is the question is is john boehner so weakened by this really pretty spectacular failure from an inside the beltway point of view that he can't deliver anything? >> it is a spectacular failure. he has been out badmouthing the president day after day about the president not moving at all, being disingenuous about it all, and then he doesn't even know where his own caucus is. trying to save face. couldn't cut a good enough deal for the tea party wing of his caucus. and now he goes home with egg on his face. >> steny hoyer -- sorry. go ahead. >> no, you go ahead. >> i was going to say, steny hoyer's right. eventually the only way -- this is a huge risk for the speaker. eventually you're going to have to get this thing passed with let's just say 160 republican votes and 110 democratic votes. that would mean the bill would
have to move even further to the left to get 110 democrats. i don't think the speaker can survive that either. because then he's really divided his caucus. he's really, really in a bind. his seat right now is the most uncomfortable in washington, d.c. >> how much more should the democrats give up to get a deal? you've said you don't want a deal, you want them to go over the cliff. do you think the president has put enough on the table to get a deal? >> no. he may have, but the problem is it's not going to reduce the deficit all that much. and it certainly isn't going to cut defense all that much. so again, i respect the president, and i certainly worked very hard to get him re-elected. we just have a difference of opinion on this issue. i am uncomfortable with the idea that we're not going to get much deficit reduction out of this. and we're not, given the last thing that's been on the table. and the republicans wouldn't even agree to that. i think we're just better off
really biting the bullet. wall street will hate it for about two weeks and suddenly they'll realize we're dealing with a deficit and i think the investors will like it a lot. >> you think the president -- the democrats should take social security off the table? >> well, you know, social security's not the problem. medicare's the problem. >> it's not the problem. but it was a negotiating chip that the republicans didn't respond to. >> that doesn't -- i was surprised at that. i didn't understand it that much. you know, i have a lot of faith in nancy pelosi, and if nancy pelosi doesn't think that the cpi indicator is that -- i'm not familiar with exactly what they were proposing. but if she says that's not going to harm social security then i'm inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. but somebody does have to do something about medicare. and the way to do it is not to cut benefits. it's to change payment mechanisms to a system where you pay by the patient instead of by the procedure. that'll change everything. you can save a lot of money in medicare, and you don't take away anybody's benefits.